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Old 06-26-2015, 10:23 AM
 
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There are SO many different forms of life on the planet, so why is it Humans were the only species to evolve to our level? In what way before humans were even a thing that made us so special that we were the only species on the planet to evolve to our level?
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Ruling out a perverse or underachieving creator who just couldn't get it right, even with a lot of trying, evolution is about species survival, not intelligence. Cockroaches are a better design than humans. Ants are a better design than humans. There is an argument to be made that dolphins - who once could live on land - were MORE intelligent at the time by saying to other land dwellers "********* guys, we're going home."
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:09 AM
 
Location: near Turin (Italy)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
There are SO many different forms of life on the planet, so why is it Humans were the only species to evolve to our level? In what way before humans were even a thing that made us so special that we were the only species on the planet to evolve to our level?
Let's see if I can remember my biology classes

-Each specie tends to evolve to fit the environment in which it lives (and its role in the ecosystem) as much as possible. So an ape is not less evolved than us, it has just evolved to fit a different environment.
Among two species that live in the same environment and that have the same role in the ecosystem (for example, that eat the same thing) can't live together for a long period. In this case it's quite likely that the strongest/more adapted specie prevails, and the other disappears.
For example in the past there were several different hominids, but just our specie survived (the first example I can think of is the competition between homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis).

-Humans evolved as a particularly flexible specie, our evolution pointed a lot on the brain and much less on the physical strength. Our "solving problem" ability allowed us to adapt to a lot of different environments, and so human managed to spread all over the world.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
There are SO many different forms of life on the planet, so why is it Humans were the only species to evolve to our level? In what way before humans were even a thing that made us so special that we were the only species on the planet to evolve to our level?
Every single living thing on earth at this moment is the end result of 3+ billion years of evolution, there is no "more" or "less" evolved.

If you are asking why no other species has developed comparable intellectual capacities as we have, there is no definitive answer as yet (I doubt there ever will be, but that's just me). Here are some things to think about.

A newer idea on this holds that the discovery of cooking by some pre-Homo sapiens species allowed for the further development of our brain capacity. Our brains are extremely expensive in terms of calories required. Cooking is a pre-digestion process that allows us to have a reasonably-sized gut and to support our large brains.
Here's a reference that can get you started - BBC News - Did the discovery of cooking make us human?

All hominid primates are very bright, we're just the most specialized in terms of intelligence. The primate tree once had more branches than it now does. It may be that our direct ancestors - or us - actively wiped the others out. It may be that we "out-smarted" the others. It may be that, besides having the capacity for developing the larger brain, we also happened to have a more resistant immune system. We are so wrapped up in our brain power that we forget there could be other reasons for our current dominance. Here's a readable book on this subject - The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond.

Something to keep in mind - our kind of intelligence is not required for survival. The greatest mass of living things on earth is one-celled organisms, and this has been true since the beginning. Current estimates for the origin of H. sapiens is about 200,000 years ago, not even a full blip in the scheme of things. And plenty of biologists distinguish between archaic and modern H. sapiens, with the rise of modern H. sapiens at somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 years ago. We are a very new experiment for life on earth, there is no guarantee at all that the experiment will be "successful" (meaning overcoming all challenges that our environment - which includes other humans - can throw at us) in the long run.
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Old 06-26-2015, 11:51 AM
 
781 posts, read 566,324 times
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Who says we're evolving? I say it's all just wind in sails. Now it can be told: we're all devo!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRguZr0xCOc
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:55 PM
 
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.
....
Two things come to mind: Larger brains; thumbs in the right place.

.
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Old 07-10-2015, 05:59 AM
 
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I guess I should've worded it better. By evolving I mean why is Human the only species to evolve to think like us? To be able to reason/understand as us?
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Pa
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Aliens.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:29 AM
 
1,204 posts, read 714,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeaceAndLove42 View Post
There are SO many different forms of life on the planet, so why is it Humans were the only species to evolve to our level? In what way before humans were even a thing that made us so special that we were the only species on the planet to evolve to our level?
If you're asking why it is humans have higher cognitive skills, greater degrees of metacognitive awareness and other epistemic skills beyond other species, it's one of the many things that the modernist (20th century neo-Darwinian) synthetic biology can't explain.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:53 PM
 
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because we evolved to be apex predators with historically recorded cognition .
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